Helios Kefir (Lifeway)

Rating
Farm/Brand HeadquartersMorton Grove, IL
ProductsKefir
Websitelifewaykefir.com/family/organic-kefir
Market AreaNationwide
Total Score1165
CriteriaRatingComment
TOTAL (possible score is 1600)1165
4-Cow Rating | Excellent
Farmstead dairies who live on-site (or work their own dairy daily) receive top points for this category. No transparency and/or no answer receive no points.
Ownership structure
70Corporation
Farmstead dairies and well-managed cooperatives with only their own patrons get top points in this category. Fewer points go to brands that have less control over their milk supply.
Milk Supply
70Sourced from trusted dairy cooperative
Brands that do not also market any conventional products receive top points in this category. Brands that are less dedicated to organics receive fewer points.
Organic Production
100Brand only markets organic
The best transparency toward Cornucopia investigators is rewarded by full points.
Disclosure of Information for Verification
80Excellent transparency
If a top-rated organic certifier certifies this brand they receive full points. Certifiers with questionable practices receive fewer points.
Organic Certification
75Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO)
If this brand has other third-party labels, particularly animal-welfare labels, that will provide them extra points in this category depending on the particular label and its standards.
Other Labels/Standards
0None. Individual farmers may have other certifications.
100% Grass-fed with independent verification or independent standards to ensure compliance will receive full points in this category. Other points are attributed to how much forage composes the dairy cows’ diets.
Grass-fed
50Meets minimum standards for grazing
No point value – this information is offered for buyers interested in milk from cows without soy in their diets.
Soy Free Ration?
No
Rating based on (a) policies of brand, (b) enforcement/oversight (c) acreage available per cow, (d) average days on pasture (e) investigative actions.
Pasture
70All co-op supplier farms do some grazing; most have legitimate pasture use
Where cows are milked one to two times per day they receive top points. It's standard organic protocol to milk two times a day. Dairies that milk three-to-four times a day is one indicator of factory-organics.
Times Milked
70Most daries milk twice a day (standard)
A cull and/or death rate under 10% annually receives full points.
Cull/death Rate
75Moderate cull/death rate. Will vary widely between supplier farms.
Closed herd (meaning the brand raises all their replacement cattle) receives full points. If conventional animals are purchased, the brand receives fewer points.
Replacements
50Conventional cattle may be rotated into organic dairy herds.
If this brand has a unique way of managing calves they receive more points. If they remove the calf shortly after birth (the standard practice) they receive 70 points.
Calves
75Removed shortly after birth (standard practice)
When the brand prohibits all antibiotic use they receive full points. No answer receives no points.
Antibiotic Use
100No antibiotic use
When no hormones are used on farm(s) this brand receives full points. When the brand uses hormones therapeutically post-birth the brand receives 50 points.
Hormone Usage
100No hormone use
Farmstead dairies (lives on site) get full points and cooperative/corporations that set standards and have staff that visit the supplying dairies also receive top points. No direct supervision and/or personal relationship with farm(s) gets low or no points.
Farm Support
90Milk sourced from cooperative that sets standards
Full control of any added ingredients (100% come from within organization) receives top points. Dairy ingredients purchased from a number of different vendors (with less direct control) receives fewer points in this category.
Procurement of Ingredients
90Outside ingredients from trusted sources
Several questions were asked in addition to the original survey questions that would ultimately give producers “extra credit” points. Look for details in individual brand explanations.
Extra Credit
0None

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